Foreign-trained workers expand Canada's options


CHAMBER VIEW: Their global experience and skill are invaluable assets as we go forward

Could there be any greater asset when trying to compete in the global marketplace than having an abundance of global experience and talent right in our own back yard?
The London Chamber of Commerce, and many chambers across Ontario, feel strongly that the foreign-trained professionals and skilled immigrants we have in our communities are indeed the kind of assets we will need to grow our economy and expand our connections to a wider array of business opportunities around the world.
These skilled individuals can enable our business base in London to have a real tangible global advantage in today's increasingly competitive and borderless business environment. How? By providing insight and knowledge about other business cultures that can often be the difference between success and failure when attempting to open up new global opportunities.
They can provide quicker access to international markets and connections that might take us years longer to develop.
And as was the case with the chamber's recent foray into China with the rest of Team London -- it was a foreign-trained professional and a member of the chamber that provided a critical advantage in language and translation skills and a better understanding of the technological and business nuances that vary widely from country to country.
It's been said that only by taking calculated risks and being open to learning from the experiences of immigrants will Canadian companies fully capitalize on the potential for innovation and growth.
And the truly great thing is that we don't have to go and look for them or lure them here -- they are already here.
The London Chamber, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber and the London Middlesex Immigrant Employment Council, is offering the first of its kind "global experience at work" program whose principle aim is to connect more chamber members with skilled immigrants here in our community through the following no-cost tools and resources:
  • Search tools to access pre-screened local and province-wide talent.
  • Mentoring programs that strengthen leadership, coaching and cross-cultural skills of employees,
  • Screening support for evaluating international credential and language skills.
  • Connections with other Chamber members who have successfully attracted and retained top newcomer talent.
We're all aware that our workforce is getting older and our emerging industries require more and more specialized skill sets.
We have many talented and well-educated internationally trained professionals in London that can add greatly to the strength of our city, economic region and local economy. We highly encourage you to arrange a consultation with a program representative at or by calling 519-663-0774 to learn more about how your company can connect to a qualified talent pool, free of charge. We also look forward to your participation in workshops throughout 2012 designed to support your company in attracting and retaining top newcomer talent.
Gerry Macartney is chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce. His e-mail address is

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